Microsoft, the global software giant, will begin selling a poor man's version of Widows for $3 in selected developing countries.
Peter Haas and his nonprofit AIDG have an excellent idea to bring low-tech solutions to basic problems of energy, water and sanitation in developing countries. Their first project is a 10-man shop in Guatemala that will build a 40-home microhydroelectric system as part of a UNDP contract. Since the workers are locals, they'll be around to fix it later. Haas envisions a network of self-sustaining businesses that build and repair low-cost technologies. Hats off.
Mark Doyle from the BBC summarizes the Sachs/Easterly debate in addressing the question: Can aid bring an end to poverty?
Hilary Benn, Britain's Development Minister, also gets into the discussion. He sticks to the UK's governance line, arguing that government-to-government aid is good for encouraging accountability of recipient governments with their own people.
The Center for Global Development has released a working paper that puts some numbers and momentum behind the G8's advanced market commitment idea for vaccines in developing countries. Sponsors would commit to paying a minimum price per person immunized against common diseases if a vaccine is developed, but they pay nothing upfront.
Indonesia has more than 300 languages spread over its 6,000 inhabited islands. But incredibly, there is a single, national language: bahasa Indonesia, which literally means the language of Indonesia. This is an amazing accomplishment. How did they manage to linguistically unite so many diverse people?
The Economist this week says Tanzania is an "African country that deserves the money it gets". While still very poor, Tanzania is set for 5.8% GDP growth this year and perhaps 6.7% next. A popular president, former foreign minister Jakaya Kikwete, hopes to build up the country's sparse infrastructure, expand access to drinking water, and improve agricultural productivity.